Tackling organised crime

ORGANISED crime groups using airfields and the waterways in the Humber region, are being targeted by police in a national initiative being rolled out locally.

Project Pegasus and Project Kraken are now running in the area with the main objective of the schemes being to strengthen the link between the aviation and boating communities across the Humberside area in a bid to gather vital intelligence to help protect their community from crime and terrorism.

Project Pegasus will see police working with pilots, airport workers, gliding and flying clubs, users of private airfields, owners and operators of aircraft, helicopters and micro lights and the general public who live or work near small airstrips or areas where aircraft can land, to gather information and reports about any suspicious activity or behaviour.

It is hoped by working more closely with these groups and building relationships between them and the police it will lead to information being fed into the authorities to assist in the fight against serious and organised crime.

Leaflets outlining Pegasus have been distributed at local airfields, flying schools and the Humberside International Airport to raise awareness and officers have been visiting the various locations and giving presentations about the scheme.

Similarly, Project Kraken focuses on the boating communities across the area encouraging them to be more vigilant along the coastline and on the waterways and report suspicious activity in harbours, marinas, docks, moorings and on the waterways.

With the River Humber being the busiest river into the UK with hundreds of ships and boats using the estuary every day and an abundance of docks up and down the coastline, the amount of traffic in the area is vast and the people living and working at and nearby could be a crucial source of information about unusual activity.

Members of the maritime community are being encouraged to be more vigilant and help combat any criminal or suspicious activity at marinas, moorings, ports or on the waterways.

Superintendent Tony Forbes from Humberside Police said: “We want the people who use these areas to be our eyes and ears. They will see things that aren’t quite right and we want them to tell us about it.

“Suspicious activity could be the unusual presence of a vessel, cargo or people in ports or marinas; people filming, photographing or loitering; or unusual aircraft or vessel movements outside normal hours. We are simply asking people to contact the police and report anything they regard as unusual, suspicious or out of the ordinary.

“If you suspect it, report it. Call Humberside Police on 0845 60 60 222, quoting Project Pegasus or Project Kraken.”